Sorry, I’m a bit busy today with that life/work thing, so I can only base my impressions on Fox Nation, where Stephen Stromberg, kidnapped from the WaPo’s op-ed pages and chained to a desk in the attic at Fox News HQ, reads between the lines of Michelle Obama’s speech last night:
It’s not that Michelle Obama said anything about Mitt Romney.
Right. You sure that echo isn’t the space between your ears, Steve?
She didn’t even mention his name. Not once.
Brutal. She’s obviously playing hardball.
... in one section of her lively and well-delivered primetime speech to the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night, line after line was weighted with biting implications about Romney’s character – and his suitability to serve as president.
Egad. She was probably laboring under the misapprehension she was addressing a political convention.
She argued that presidents makes hard calls by referring to their values, and Barack Obama has the ones you want.
Halp! Where’s Glenn Kessler when you need him?
They also happen to be values that Romney isn’t widely reputed to hold, particularly among the Democratic activists who cheered knowingly at the first lady’s every turn of phrase.
True. I’d never heard “USA, USA” chanted knowingly before, after a pointed remark from a stage, but there it was, plain as the nose on Pinnochio’s face.
Since Steve at Fox Nation’s so exercised about this, we’ll go MSM and break it down into she said/he said.
President Obama “began his career by turning down high-paying jobs.”
Fox Nation said:
Romney began his career by seeking out high-paying jobs.
President Obama knows that “the truth matters.”
Fox Nation said:
Romney’s running mate gave a dishonest speech at the Republican National Convention last week.
President Obama knows that “success isn’t about how much money you make.”
Fox Nation said:
Romney amassed a large fortune, and he’s proud of it.
President Obama knows that in life “you don’t take short-cuts.”
Fox Nation said:
Romney has a Swiss bank account, presumably to avoid paying taxes.
Look, Steve, I’m not sure this is working out as your readership might hope.
So, as Bette notes, the 2012 GOP Convention looms large on the horizon, and I’m sure we’re all agog at the prospect of the week ahead.
We already know the draft platform that’ll be *ahem* revealed at the Convention and that Mitt’ll sign off on because, with typical efficiency, GOP staffers hit “Publish” on an online draft and preempted the heck out of themselves.
We also know the themes of each of the four days:
Planned Convention Schedule
Monday—“We Can Do Better”
Tuesday—“We Built It”
Wednesday—“We Can Change It”
Thursday—“We Believe in America”
Though this, of course, has been subject to last-minute revision following Gov. Rick Scott’s declaration of a State of Emergency, including distribution of sandbags to some of those in the Tampa area, given that Tropical Storm Isaac’s currently bearing down on early-arriving delegates:
Revised Convention Schedule (Outdoors On Roof If Wet)
Monday—“Onward To 2008, Because That Worked Out So Well”
Tuesday—“Let Somebody Else Pick Up The Pieces As Usual”
Wednesday—“We Screwed Everything Up Before, And By Golly, We’ll Do It Again If They Let Us”
Thursday—“We’ll Say Anything”
We also know that Mittens, egged on by Peggy Noonan, is at last exploring his legendary unzipped wisecracky fun side, so there’ll be human touches this year on top of the usual Baboon Choruses of OO-ESS-AY, ritual slutshaming, forced repatriation of any undocumented convention center staff, and all the other palaver.
Mitt and Ann have been busy trialing the all-new GOP Jumbo Salute:
And continuing the elephantine theme, there’ll be some very fetching merchandise for sale:
But, behind the motley masque, what of the behind-the-scenes shenanigans that you may remember I was looking forward to so much as early as May and June. How goes it with the Paulmas?
Rick Wiley, political director of the Republican National Commitee, is REALLY psyched about RoRyMo (Romney-Ryan momentum), PEOPLE!!!1!! Wiley broadcast those heady emotions in a preconvention pep rally memo that went out Friday.
“The Romney-Ryan momentum is building, while the enthusiasm for Obama and Biden dwindles,” Wiley trumpeted (sorry, I couldn’t resist). Evidently, Republican’s are finally working up some enthusiasm for the GOP ticket heading into next week’s hurricane Republican Convention, in Tampa, FL (Rain dates to be announced)
But here’s the best part: Since we all know how Republicans like to cite authoritative sources to back up their claims, Wiley chose the latest swing state poll from Quinnipiac University, CBS News and the New York Times, which just so happens to show President Barack Obama leading in Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin. But since the GOP’s motto is “glass half full,” rather than highlight the gloomy head-to-head numbers from the poll, Wiley focuses on the survey’s findings on voter enthusiasm—a much better picture. The poll showed Republicans with an enthusiasm advantage in all three battleground states.
Personally, I’ll take votes over enthusiasm any day but, what the hell, it’s the weekend . . .
And what sits in between is the crux of the matter. Yeah, that “health of the mother” thing.
Steve Benen, now well settled into his new digs at The Maddow Blog, expands the bounds of outrageous incivility by comparing Paul Ryan when he was a humble Congressman with Paul Ryan, would-be VP:
Republican vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan sat down this morning with Jon Delano of KDKA in Pittsburgh, offering his first detailed remarks since Todd Akin’s odious comments over the weekend on rape. What was striking about Ryan’s comments was the extent to which they were at odds with his own record.
Ryan said in the interview, “Rape is rape. Period. End of story.” And while that may sound heartening, Ryan, just a year ago, co-sponsored legislation—with Todd Akin—that would have redefined “rape” for the purposes of Medicaid funding. In Ryan’s proposal, victims of “forcible rape” would receive protections, but victims of other, undefined kinds of rape would not.
Asked to defend his own legislation, Ryan refused. “Rape is rape. Rape is rape, period. End of story,” he said. When the reporters pressed further, asking, “So that forcible rape language meant nothing to you at the time?” The vice presidential hopeful again added, “Rape is rape and there’s no splitting hairs over rape.”
As for Ryan’s stated position that the government should force women to take their pregnancy to term if they are impregnated by a rapist, the Republican congressman seemed to concede that his position has been superseded. “Well, look, I’m proud of my pro-life record. And I stand by my pro-life record in Congress. It’s something I’m proud of,” Ryan said. “But Mitt Romney is the top of the ticket and Mitt Romney will be president and he will set the policy of the Romney administration.”
Good news, Republican delegates! Do you find that your communications skills need work? are there gaps in your policy resume? Well, fear not, because during the upcoming Republican National Convention, you will have a chance of a lifetime opportunity to drink from the fountain of knowledge at “Newt University,” a series of workshops and seminars hosted by former Congressman Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-GA).
According to a press release sent out by the convention Saturday morning:
Former U.S. Speaker of the House and one-time college professor Newt Gingrich will host Newt University, a series of public policy workshops for delegates to brush up on the policy and U.S. history behind the GOP platform. Newt U seminars will support and expound upon the overall daily convention themes in greater detail and give delegates an opportunity to dive deeper into those issues.
The goal is to prepare the American people with the facts to dispel myths and misinformation. Speaker Gingrich is one of our party’s most effective communicators, which is why he was asked to lead this effort.
(That, and the pizza stand is already spoken for by Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann snagged the face painting concession.)
If I’m reading this correctly, what the convention is saying is “come learn how to become effective communicators” from a guy who dropped out of the Republican primary race in May after losing every state primary and caucus except his home state of Georgia and its neighbor South Carolina.
The “Great Communicator” who has not been invited to actually speak at the convention . . . from the one-time college professor who taught for eight years at West Georgia College, then took his chalk and eraser and went home when he wasn’t offered tenure.
Late last year, during the primary, Maureen Dowd, profiled Gingrich for the New York Times thus:
His mind is a jumble, an amateurish mess lacking impulse control. He plays air guitar with ideas, producing air ideas. He ejaculates concepts, notions and theories that are as inconsistent as his behavior.
Gee, that sounds like another “big ideas” Republican candidate . . .
In 2008, John McCain provoked much hilarity by cavorting in front of a green screen, thereby enabling the more technically adept to virtually relocate him to more appropriate environs in a legendary series of YouTubes.
This year, Mittens, ironically, has a similar problem with the color white. In February, his ever-adept campaign staff didn’t foresee the anagrammatic possibilities of parading his name on individually lettered white T-shirts (right-click on any of these smaller pics and left-click on “View Image” to see them full-size).
There are few more belters at the link, and no doubt in the fulness of time going viral across the intertubes. Here’s my own humble effort:
There’s a blank version after the fold if you want to join in the fun (link us up if you can save a version somewhere, and I’ll add them to the post). Or you could just suggest content in the comments.
Exhausted Presumptive Whiner-in-Chief Mitt Romney has had JUST AS MUCH AS HE’S GOING TO TAKE of this gloves-off campaigning lark.
You impudent uppity people won’t shut the fuck up about his tax returns as if that had anything to do with how he’s conducted his finances and as if his and his spousebot’s word that there’s nothing to see here and anyway Blind Trust bitchez!!!!, honest, isn’t gold-plated 100 percent take-it-to-the bank Gospel.
You won’t give him the RESPECT he deserves, dangnabbit. Now you’ve got him REALLY riled.
And as numerous dusky garden hands have learned to their cost in the past, YOU WON’T LIKE MITT WHEN HE’S REALLY RILED. Why, he oughtta ... he oughtta ... RAISE A PETITION!!!!
President Obama’s campaign and his surrogates have made wild and reckless accusations that disgrace the office of the Presidency. Another outrageous charge came yesterday in Virginia. And the White House sinks a little bit lower.
This is what an angry and desperate Presidency looks like.
President Obama knows better and promised better; and America deserves better.
Sign the petition if you agree President Obama should take his campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago.
It would be A Sad Day For Democracy if this sacred document of avowed blind trust were to be sullied by the likes of Richie McRichballs and Donald T. Wherethefucksyertaxreturns chiming in with their support.
I’m willing to entertain the possibility that when Sen. Rand (son of Ron) Paul Tweeted about the National Weather Service acquiring 46,000 hollow point bullets and linked to infowars.com, he was simply as bemused as anyone else would be about what meteorologists would need that kind of ammo for, without necessarily buying into the idea that weathermen had had enough of global warming denial and were going to go commando on someone’s ass.
That doesn’t mean that’s what I necessarily do entertain. Actually, I’m more entertained by the idea of RWNJ’s genuinely concerned about the possibility that government scientist thugs are loaded for bear and taking no prisoners.
When it comes to physical attraction, there’s no accounting for taste. When it comes to eyesight, it’s never too late to bow to the inevitable and take to wearing specs. When it comes to the 2012 election, it’s always 2008.
Today’s contribution to incisive political commentary comes to us from TMZ via Politico’s Patrick Gavin, citing suggestions via teh hormonally charged Google and a bunch of confessions on Twitter:
Overlooked, understandably, in Saturday’s analysis and news that Rep. Paul Ryan will be Mitt Romney’s vice presidential nominee was one mostly — but not entirely — unimportant aspect: Paul Ryan is kind of hot.
The Politico commenters’ reactions range from “BARF” to “Really Politico? This is where you are heading? What, is this Huffington Post now?” to shuffling awkwardly and changing the subject to talk about anything other than Paul Ryan’s hawtness. Which is a shame.
Paul Ryan is so HAWT, he can charm the deer out of the trees.
As for his way with our feathered friends, what happens on the hunt stays on the hunt.
But the fickle RW blogs, still high on the weekend Ryanmentum, are asleep at the wheel. Where’s the OUTRAGE??!!
the hottest vice presidential candidate ever???!!!!!
WHAT AN APPALLING SLAP IN THE FACE TO SARAH PALIN!!!!!
You know, it seems like just yesterday that mildly bug-eyed RNC chairman, Reince Priebus (R-Innsmouth on Lake Michigan) was saying something about Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid being a dirty liar—probably because it was yesterday. “Dirty liar” probably focused better than “poopy-head” or “meany-weiner”, but I just want to lean in on the “dirtiness” of the alleged lie for a little moment—scurrilous, isn’t it? Romney somehow avoided paying income taxes—Obscene! Absurd! Of course, we’re given to believe that the wealthy, or as they are sometimes known “job-creators”, pay the most taxes of anybody ever and there is nothing worse than implying they don’t, or that they don’t actually, you know, create jobs, or, for what it’s worth, like….not actually clap their hands in a void and say the words “Let there be commerce!” and make the firmament dance with their industry. It’s rude. It hurts feelings.
And it invites investigation in to what all the hub-bub about Romney’s returns is about, anyway, and isn’t that why Reid said it then? So here’s a funny thing—you’re all savvy people, so I don’t need to tell you all that dodging taxes actually was the basis of Bain Capital in the first place, right?
The Times story follows on Romney’s recent acknowledgement to the National Review that he established funds in the Cayman Islands for the explicit purpose of helping wealthy investors avoid paying American taxes. Bain currently operates at least 138 shell companies headquartered in the Cayman Islands, which, like Panama, has long been associated with both legal and illegal tax machinations and money laundering.
“The so-called offshore account in the Cayman Islands, for instance, is an account established by a U.S. firm to allow foreign investors to invest in U.S. enterprises and not be subject to taxes outside of their own jurisdiction,” Romney told National Review’s Robert Costa on Wednesday. “So in many instances, the investments in something of that nature are brought back into the United States. The world of finance is not as simple as some would have you believe. Sometimes a foreign entity is formed to allow foreign investors to invest in the United States, which may well be the case with the entities that Democrats are describing as foreign accounts.”
That’s because Bain Capital, under Romney as chief executive officer, made about $1 billion in a leveraged buyout 12 years ago that remains controversial in Italy to this day. Bain was part of a group that bought a telephone-directory company from the Italian government and then sold it about two years later, at the peak of the technology bubble, for about 25 times what it paid.
Bain funneled profits through susidiaries in Luxembourg, a common corporate strategy for avoiding income taxes in other European countries, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg News. The buyer, Italy’s biggest telephone company, now has a total market value less than what it paid Bain and other investors for the directory business.
In Italy, the deals have spurred at least three books, separate legal and regulatory probes and newspaper columns alleging investors made a fortune at the expense of Italian taxpayers. Boston-based Bain wasn’t a subject of the inquiries, which didn’t result in any charges.
Skirting taxes seems to have been a feature of the Bain operation, not a bug, so it just seems likely to me that if this was the nature of the business, tax dodges might have been used as a selling point for investors. I mean, fair is fair, and if corporations are people, too, why shouldn’t meat-folks do what paper-folks got away with all the time?
I’m just throwing this out there as a thing to speculate about, since the former one-term governor of MA hasn’t decided to call Reid’s bluff yet and put this “dirty lie” to bed. Oh, and that picture? That’s the HMS Romney. The history is rather fascinating. The ship eventually was wrecked due to fog and ignorance. Not that I’m implying any parallel with the candidate. Nor saying that irony is alive and well and residing in his bio.
Do not neglect to note, either, that 2000 is when Mr. Romney was not supposedly directly involved with Bain Capital, and yet there he was, directly involved with this deal. One does not entirely know what to make of facts that so utterly refuse to comply with Mitt Romney’s narrative.
Mitt Romney’s long-planned summer fundraising bashes in England and Israel made the itinerary for his getmetheh-e-doublehockeysticksoutofhere vacation look a little bare and blatant, so he told his staff to spin that Rolodex and figure out some more stops to pad it out. France was out of the question—too much of a reminder of the two years he spent on mission there in his youth, when he managed to convert two people before nearly taking out a bunch more in a car crash, plus it’s now run by socialists who’re being mean to banksters, so the optics wouldn’t be good and the reception likely less than warm. A visit to Germany was mooted, but didn’t pan out, and in any case would have invited too many unfavorable comparisions with President Obama’s barnstorming visit in 2008. Switzerland and the Cayman Islands were also off limits, for reasons that should be obvious. Then Lech Walesa came to the rescue with an invite, so the final leg ends up being a two-day stay in sunny Poland.
Even before he flees American soil, Mitt’s managed to cause a diplomatic incident. He can largely get away with spinning his own web of reality from others’ words in America, but the rest of the world can sometimes set more exacting standards. The leaders he’ll be meeting may be considerably more guarded in what they say to him for fear he’ll end up citing them publicly and “reinterpreting” their words to fit what he wants them to imply after his run-in with Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr:
Now, I’ll give the Romney campaign a brief benefit of the doubt. Maybe a friendly spammer thought s/he was doing the campaign a solid. On the other hand, a superficial tweak like trying win the “war” on social media by follower count is just the kind of useless thing the campaign that believes in a place called Amercia might do.
Oh—I retroactively didn’t use the above blog-title. That’s just mean.